Germany ‘encouraging Putin’ by refusing to supply arms: Ukraine

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Kyiv (AFP) – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday condemned Germany for its refusal to supply arms to Kiev, urging Berlin to stop “undermining unity” and “encouraging Vladimir Putin” in fear of an invasion Russian.

Separately, the Foreign Ministry said it also summoned German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen to underscore the “categorical unacceptability” of German Navy chief Kay-Achim Schoenbach’s comments in which he called Russian plans to invade Ukraine are “fools”. “.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered on the Ukrainian border, fears are growing that a major conflict could break out in Europe.

Ukraine’s calls for Western allies to boost its defense capabilities have seen the United States, Britain and the Baltic states agree to send weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, to Kiev.

Kuleba said on Twitter that Germany’s statements “about the impossibility of supplying defense weapons to Ukraine” did not correspond “to the current security situation”.

The Ukrainian minister underlined that “today the unity of the West with Russia is more important than ever.

“German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encourage (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” Kuleba said.

Ukraine is “grateful” to Germany for the support it has already given, but its “current statements are disappointing”, he added.

“Profound disappointment”

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry added in a statement that it wanted to express its “deep disappointment” at the “inability of the German government to supply defense weapons to Ukraine”.

Earlier on Saturday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Berlin would send a field hospital to Ukraine, while once again rejecting calls for arms from Kiev.

Berlin has already delivered ventilators to Ukraine and seriously injured Ukrainian soldiers are currently being treated in Bundeswehr hospitals, she told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“Weapons deliveries would not be useful at the moment – that is the consensus within the government,” Lambrecht said.

Moscow insists it has no intention of invading Ukraine, but has at the same time laid down a series of security demands – including a ban on Ukraine joining NATO – in exchange for a de-escalation.

Referring to Navy Chief Schoenbach’s comments, the German Defense Ministry said he would be asked to explain himself.

In a video posted online and recorded at a New Delhi focus group on Friday, Schoenbach also said Putin “must be respected.”

“It’s easy to give him the respect he wants, and probably deserves, too,” he said in the video.

Schoenbach said on Saturday the comments were “thoughtless.”

“There’s no need to quibble: that was clearly a mistake,” he tweeted.

Schoenbach’s statements “do not in any way correspond to the position of the German Defense Ministry”, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

The vice-admiral will have to explain himself to the chief of staff of the army, added the spokesman.

Russian troops are massed on the Ukrainian border, along with an arsenal of tanks, combat vehicles, artillery and missiles.

Moscow has denied plans to invade, but Washington believes an attack could now come “at any time”.

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